Slang names for poker hands
In poker, players may often use slang terms for particular types of hands. Though most are recent neologisms, others date to poker’s antiquity. All such slang terms typically connect a common concept (from life experience or storytelling) to the hand, in order to more easily characterize its general status relative to other hands. The terms range from whimsical to bawdy, with some being of a racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise controversial nature.
The following lists should not be confused with “official” poker terminology.
Individual card slang
The following table lists slang terms commonly associated with individual cards:
Card Slang name A Bullet, Rocket K Cowboy K♥ Alexander K♦ Ceasar K♠ David K♣ Charles (Charlemagne) Q Lady, Bitch, Girl, Cowgirl, Mop Squeezer Q♥ Judith (may come from Bible) Q♦ Rachel (may come from Bible) Q♠ Black Bitch J Johnny, Jackal, Knave, Hook (play on shape), Valet (from French) T Dime 8 Snowman (play on shape), Ocho (from Spanish) 7 Hockey Stick,Walking Stick, Candy Cane (play on shape) 5 Nickel 4 Sailboat (play on shape) 3 Trey (standard usage, not slang), Crab (play on shape) 2 Deuce (standard usage, not slang), Duck (play on deuce), Quacker (play on duck)
Five-card hand slang
Hand Slang name Straight flush, ace to five Steel wheel Four of a kind Book, Quads (e.g., “Quad Kings”) Four of a kind, aces Four Pips (Each ace has one pip) Full house Full boat, Boat, Full
- A full house is commonly referred to as Xs full of Ys where X is the three of a kind and Y is the pair. For example, 555KK would be “fives full of kings”
Flush of hearts or diamonds Pink, All Pink Flush of clubs or spades Blue, All Blue Flush of clubs Golf Bag, Puppy Feet, Puppy Toes, Pups Straight, ten to ace Broadway Straight, ace to five Wheel, Bicycle, Bike Three of a kind Trips (or Trip as in Ted has trip kings.), Set
- In Hold ’em the term “set” refers to when a player has a pair in the hole and one matching card on the board, with “trips” referring to a pair on the board and one in the hand or three of a kind on the board.
Three of a kind, kings Klan Rally, Alabama Night Riders, Three Wise Men Three of a kind, sixes Devil’s hand, Mark of the Beast (referring to the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation) Two pair, aces and eights Dead Man’s Hand (hand held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot and killed) Two pair
- Two pair is commonly shorthanded as Xs up or Xs over Ys, with the top pair as X and the bottom pair as Y. For example, KK998 would be “kings up” or “kings over nines”.)
One pair, aces Aces and spaces (a hand with one pair of aces, and nothing else. Used derogatorily, especially in games such as seven-card stud, where two pair is a typical winning hand) Outside straight draw Bobtail, Open-ended
- An outside straight draw: cards of two different ranks could complete the high or low end of the straight (e.g., _3456_)
Outside straight flush draw Big Bobtail Inside straight draw Gutshot, Belly buster
- An inside straight draw: only cards of a single rank could complete the straight (e.g., 34_67)
Double inside straight draw Double gutshot, Double belly buster
- Double inside straight draw: cards of two different ranks could fill gaps in the straight (e.g., 2_456_8)
Texas hold’em slang
The following refer to hole (pocket) cards in Texas hold ’em:
Starting hand Slang name AA Pocket Rockets, American Airlines, Bullets, Two Pips AK Big Slick (originally referred to A♠K♠, but the name has become common for any Ace-King, especially suited), Anna Kournikova (looks good but rarely wins), Machine Gun (AK-47), Walking Back to Houston (“I can see you learned to play in Houston. Those Houston players would come to Dallas and play that ace-king, but they’d always end up against a pair of aces. That’s why we call that hand ‘Walking back to Houston.'” – T.J. Cloutier, quoted by Barry Greenstein) AQ Little Slick, Big Chick, Mrs. Slick AJ Blackjack, Ajax A8 Dead Man’s Hand (by analogy with Wild Bill’s aces and eights) A3 Baskin-Robbins (plays off the number 31: 31 Flavors), Friday The 13th (An ace played low would be considered equivalent to 1) A2 Acey-Deucey, Drinking Age KK Cowboys, Elvis Presley, King Kong, Ace Magnets KQ Marriage, Royalty KQ suited Royal Marriage KQ unsuited Mixed Marriage KQ hearts Valentine’s Day KJ Kojak, King John K9 Canine, Dog, Fido, Sawmill K3 King Crab, Alaska Hand Cowgirls, Ladies, Siegfried & Roy, Hilton Sisters, Olsen Twins, Dykes, Girls with curls, Bitches, Mop squeezers QJ Maverick (the theme song for the television series “Maverick” speaks of the title character as “livin’ on jacks and queens”) QT Q-Tip, Varkonyi (named after Robert Varkonyi, 2002 World Series of Poker main event champion, who rather liked this hand) Q9 Quinine Q7 Computer Hand (according to a computer simulation, the hand of non-connected cards that makes the most straights) Q3 Gay Waiter, San Francisco Busboy (“Queen with a trey”) Q3 suited Posh Gay Waiter Q♥3♥ Flaming Gay Waiter JJ Fishhooks, Hooks, Jokers JT Cloutier (play on name: T. J. Cloutier) J♣9♣ T.J. Cloutier (T.J. flopped three straight flushes with this hand in one year) J7 Jack Daniel’s (Jack Old No. 7) J6 Railroad Hand J5 Motown, Jackson Five J4 Flat Tire (“What’s a jack for?”) TT Dimes, TNT T5 Five and Dime, Woolworths T4 Good Buddy, Over and Out, Roger That (play on radio code 10-4), Broderick Crawford T2 Doyle Brunson, Texas Dolly (Brunson won the World Series of Poker with it twice in a row—1976 and 1977) 99 Wayne Gretzky (his jersey number), German Virgin (“nein, nein” means “no, no” in German) 98 Oldsmobile 96 Big Lick, Porno, Dinner for Two (play on number 69) 96 suited Prom Night (“Sixty-nine suited”) 9♥6♥ Valentine’s Day 95 Dolly Parton (she sang Workin’ 9 to 5), Full-time job 94 Gold Rush, San Francisco (play off the number 49) 93 The Sik 92 Montana Banana 88 Little Oldsmobile, Snowmen, Infinities , Double Infinity 86 Maxwell Smart (Agent 86 in Get Smart) 83 Raquel Welch 77 Hockey Sticks, Candy Canes, Walking Sticks 76 Philadelphia, Union Oil, Trombones (from the song 76 Trombones) 75 Heinz, Ketchup (play on Heinz’s 57 varieties) 74 Double Down, Blackjack hand 73 Hachem (named for Joseph Hachem, winner of World Series of Poker, 2005 who won the $7.5 million prize with this hand when he flopped a straight) 72 offsuit The Hammer 72 suited Velvet Hammer 66 Route 66 62 Ainsworth 55 Presto, Speed Limit, Nickels 54 Jesse James, Colt 45 (both play off the number 45), Moneymaker (winning hand of Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion) 52 Bomber (B-52 bomber) 44 Sailboats (looks like two sails), Midlife Crisis, Magnum, Luke Skywalker (“May the fours be with you”) 4♠4♣ Darth Vader (“Dark Side Of The Fours”) 33 Crabs, Hooters 32 Can of Corn 32 offsuit Houta Hand (pronounced like “Hooter”, named for a Native American dealer who advocates playing this hand) 22 Ducks (from “deuces”), Swans, Sleepers, Quack Quack any pocket pair Wired pair, Wired
- For example, a starting hand of 8-8 might be called “wired eights” or “eights wired”
In addition, two types of hands are called “blackjack hands”:
- Hands which are naturals in blackjack: any ace with any face or ten.
- Hands whose numeric total is 11: 9-2, 8-3, 7-4, 6-5. (In blackjack, such hands are very good for players.)
Omaha slang is not as well developed as Texas Hold’em. The game is not as widely played, and there is a much greater variety of hands, since the pocket is four cards. In the hole in Omaha hold’em:
Hand Slang name A-K-4-7 Assault Rifle
The following terms refer to the flop in Omaha hold’em and Texas hold’em:
Flop Slang name Three different suits Rainbow Three face cards Paint (can also be used to refer to any picture card. I need to hit paint indicates somebody who is looking for a J,Q,K.) Three low cards Rags, Ragged flop (cards unlikely to have helped anyone)
- Michael Wiesenberg’s Dictionary of Poker